Abstract

Research on privacy has been dominated by a limited access perspective for the past 60 years. Researchers have focused upon privacy as a behavioral phenomenon and a practical tool used from moment to moment to create boundaries and rules for their own, and other’s behavior. The primary theories of privacy articulated by Westin and Altman treat privacy as either a means of mitigating an individual’s vulnerabilities or as an interconnected series of behavioral mechanisms for organizing information and relationships. Most work on privacy remains theoretical, and little empirical data has been explored. This work summarizes the main perspectives in privacy research and associated theories, while examining empirical data which relates to how individuals organize some of those behavioral mechanisms articulated in Altman’s theory of privacy. The goal is to integrate empirical data into the broader theoretical framework surrounding privacy. The data come from a nationally-representative web-based panel of U.S. adults.

Research Category

Social Science/Education/Public Health

Primary Author's Major

Sociology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Richard Serpe

Presentation Format

Roundtable

Start Date

11-3-2015 1:00 PM

End Date

11-3-2015 5:00 PM

IMG_1204.JPG (747 kB)
Headshot

Biographical Sketch.docx (11 kB)

Research Area

Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Social Psychology and Interaction

 
Mar 11th, 1:00 PM Mar 11th, 5:00 PM

Empirical Perspectives in the Study of Privacy: Examining the Theories of Westin and Altman

Research on privacy has been dominated by a limited access perspective for the past 60 years. Researchers have focused upon privacy as a behavioral phenomenon and a practical tool used from moment to moment to create boundaries and rules for their own, and other’s behavior. The primary theories of privacy articulated by Westin and Altman treat privacy as either a means of mitigating an individual’s vulnerabilities or as an interconnected series of behavioral mechanisms for organizing information and relationships. Most work on privacy remains theoretical, and little empirical data has been explored. This work summarizes the main perspectives in privacy research and associated theories, while examining empirical data which relates to how individuals organize some of those behavioral mechanisms articulated in Altman’s theory of privacy. The goal is to integrate empirical data into the broader theoretical framework surrounding privacy. The data come from a nationally-representative web-based panel of U.S. adults.